Accordingly the CEB’s fixed charge - that is added on to the unit charges - will go up, for both domestic as well as bulk consumers of electricity.
The fixed charge for bulk consumers will increase from the current Rs 800 to Rs 3,000.
The fixed charge for domestic consumers is currently Rs 30 for all domestic users - regardless of the amount of electricity consumed.
The new fixed rates on the other hand, will be higher for larger domestic consumers.
|New Fixed Charges on Domestic Electricity Consumers|
|No of Units||
Fixed Charge Rs.
|0 - 30||60|
|31 – 60||90|
|61 – 90||120|
|91 – 180||180|
Source : Ceylon Electricity Board
The CEB hopes to gazette the new fixed rates within a few days and repeal a gazette notice issued last year for a 3.6% percent tariff increase.
The CEB is hoping that the Court cases against its last year’s attempt to increase electricity tariffs, will be dropped once the previous gazette is repealed.
The new gazette will give the public at least 30 days notice of the price increase and is expected to be implemented by August.
However, CEB officials say the increase in fixed charges is a purely cosmetic solution to the public utilities increasing production costs.
The CEB’s original request was for a price increase that would see a total revenue increase of at least 20 percent.
The political compromise of a fixed charge increase, gives the public utility less than half of what it wanted.
“We expect that the new increase will result in an eight percent increase in revenue,” said Fonseka.
The eight percent increase in revenue comes to around Rs 4 bn a yer, and will give the CEB a total annual revenue of around Rs 60 billion.
The utilities total debts on the other hand, are now over Rs 80 billion and its losses are ballooning daily - because of delays in increasing electricity charges in line with increasing production costs.
The CEB uses around four million litres of diesel per day, for thermal generation and the increase in diesel prices this month by Rs 4.00 alone, pushes up the CEB’s production costs by Rs 16 million per day.
The utility makes a loss of nearly Rs 4.00 per every unit of electricity sold.
-LBO Newsdesk: LBOEmail@vanguardlanka.com